Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Napatech launches 400Gbps SmartNIC based on Intel Agilex FPGA

Napatech announced general availability of its first 400Gbps programmable SmartNIC based on the Intel Agilex 7 FPGAs.

The new NT400 SmartNIC platform includes two QSFP56 network ports, supporting up to 2x200G traffic. At the core of the NT400 platform is the Intel Agilex 7 FPGA F-Tile chiplet, which incorporates a configurable, hardened Ethernet protocol stack.

The SmartNIC hardware is complemented by Napatech's portfolio of production-grade software packages. The platform's PCIe Gen 4 16-lane host interface enables full-duplex 2x100Gbps traffic between network ports and host applications.

Napatech said it chose the Intel Agilex 7 FPGA for its scalability options, which allow support for five different configurations that meet various price, performance, power and feature goals.

“The NT400 platform represents the latest generation within our portfolio of SmartNIC solutions,” said Jarrod Siket, Chief Marketing Officer at Napatech. “We will deliver multiple SKUs based on this platform, providing products with memory configurations as well features like time synchronization and management ports that are precisely tuned to the requirements of our customers’ applications, all packaged with the applicable production-grade software.”

“We are delighted to see Napatech choose the Intel Agilex 7 FPGA for their leading-edge SmartNIC solutions,” said Mike Fitton, Vice President Programmable Solutions Group and General Manager, Network Business Division at Intel. “The combination of our FPGAs, which deliver high performance, and power efficiency plus a rich feature set for the most demanding applications, together with Napatech’s production-grade hardware and software, helps ensure that customers can deliver leading solutions for a wide range of enterprise and telecom applications.”

Forbes: Intel’s Chiplet Strategy Accelerates FPGA Development

An article in Forbes discusses how Intel's use of chiplets is accelerating the development of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). 

Specifically chiplets are being used for input/output (I/O) functions, allowing the central portion of the FPGA to remain unchanged and eliminating the need to redesign the main FPGA die. 

The article also notes that Intel's use of chiplets is part of a broader trend in the semiconductor industry toward integrating multiple chiplets in a package to deliver product innovation across market segments.

Brightspeed names Tom Maguire as next CEO

Brightspeed, the fifth largest incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) in the U.S., selected Tom Maguire, current chief operating officer, to succeed Bob Mudge as chief executive officer. Mudge will step into the role of executive chair of the Board of Directors, responsible for the strategic direction of the company. Brightspeed will also welcome Manuel (Manny) Sampedro as chief operating officer. The changes are effective November 1, 2023.

“When we began our exploration of a new internet company in 2020, Bob Mudge, Chris Creager and Tom Maguire were the advisors we trusted to help evaluate and shape the opportunity. We asked each of them to stay on to take the company through the launch and initial stabilization, and we’ve been so pleased with all that this team has accomplished so far. As planned, Chris transitioned to an advisor role earlier this year, and this next transition is a natural next step in the team’s evolution,” said Aaron Sobel, partner, private equity at Apollo and Brightspeed Board member. “Bob has helped to shape Brightspeed into the growing, thriving company it is today, and I’m pleased he has agreed to step into the role of executive chair for our Board, where he will remain actively involved in the company.”

With more than four decades of experience in telecommunications, Tom Maguire brings a breadth of expertise to his new role. Beginning as a field technician and rising through various management and leadership roles at Verizon, Tom ultimately served as SVP, national operations support, responsible for the processes and systems supporting an operations team of 35,000 field technicians, engineering and network operations employees. In his role as COO at Brightspeed, Tom leads a team of nearly 3,000 employees and is responsible for service and repair, as well as the company’s multi-year fiber network deployment.

UScellular gains early C-Band spectrum access

UScellular has received full access to the 5G C-Band spectrum it was awarded from Auction 107 in March 2021, allowing the company to expand its 5G network faster than anticipated. 

Earlier this year, UScellular upgraded more than 440 cell sites in preparation for this spectrum access, and the company will turn on this enhanced 5G service in the coming weeks – three months ahead of schedule. C-Band spectrum technology brings faster data speeds and more capacity and enhances the network performance for customers.

"This early access to our C-Band spectrum allows us to accelerate our plans and bring a superior network experience to more mobile and Home Internet customers earlier than expected," said Mike Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer at UScellular. "Additional spectrum access is important as we advance our mission to connect people to what matters most."

Ericsson teams with AWS and Hitachi America R&D on Private 5G

Ericsson, AWS and Hitachi America R&D enabled the private 5G infrastructure trial at Hitachi Astemo Americas’ electric motor vehicle manufacturing plant in Berea, Kentucky.

The solution leverages Ericsson Private 5G side by side with the AWS Snow Family to provide the private cellular networks that were foundational in establishing machine learning (ML) models within the Hitachi manufacturing complex.

Using Hitachi video analytics, real-time video of the component assembly operation was fed across the Ericsson private 5G network to help detect defects earlier, reducing wasted material and lost production.

“We explored and validated new use cases enabled by private 5G to show how smart factories can already function,” Sudhanshu Gaur, Vice President of R&D for Hitachi America and Chief Architect at Hitachi Astemo Americas, says. “The combination of private 5G, cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning automated technologies has the potential to revolutionize the way we manufacture products, and we are excited to be at the forefront of this innovation.”

Globe Telecom deploys Nokia’s Interleaved Passive Active Antennas

Nokia is deploying itsmodular Interleaved Passive Active Antenna (IPAA+) for Globe Telecom, Inc, across the southern islands of the Philippines. 

Nokia’s advanced IPAA+, has a light, modular design and supports all 5G frequency bands in a single compact antenna including the 2.6 GHz spectrum band. Nokia said its IPAA+ also has the capability to support other bands, which means investments are protected. The new IPAA+ is the size and weight of a standard multiband antenna and makes it easier and faster for service providers to deploy their 5G networks through just a simple antenna swap. C

Nokia and Globe’s engineering team also successfully trialed a Globe Telecom-specific variant of the IPAA+ in the field. The field test was carried out in Tantangan, South Cotabato in the island of Mindanao, making Globe Telecom the first operator in the world to successfully test the 2.6 GHz IPAA+ variant.

Jeciel Nuyda, President at Nokia Shanghai Bell Philippines, said: “We are delighted to partner with Globe Telecom on this deal that will see our state-of-the-art IPAA+ products being deployed in the Philippines. These products are lighter, more modular and cover all sub-6GHz 5G frequency bands. We look forward to collaborating closely with Globe on this important deployment.”

Nokia field tests mobile network for the moon

 Nokia conducted a major field test of the 4G LTE lunar network it will provide to NASA.  The tests were conducted at the Southern Colorado Autonomous Test Facility in partnership with Intuitive Machines and Lunar Outpost.

  • In October 2020, NASA selected Nokia to deploy the first LTE/4G communications system on the lunar surface. Nokia’s lunar network consists of an LTE Base Station with integrated Evolved Packet Core (EPC) functionalities, LTE User Equipment, RF antennas and high-reliability operations and maintenance (O&M) control software. The solution has been specially designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing, and to operate in the extreme conditions of space. The fully integrated cellular network meets very stringent size, weight and power constraints of space payloads in an extremely compact form factor. Nokia is partnering with Intuitive Machines for this mission to integrate this groundbreaking network into their lunar lander and deliver it to the lunar surface. The network will self-configure upon deployment and establish the first LTE communications system on the Moon.

VIAVI’s CFO steps down

Henk Derksen has resigned as VIAVI's Chief Financial Officer, effective August 25, 2023. Mr. Derksen is resigning from his position and plans to return to Europe to pursue a new opportunity. 

VIAVI said Derksen’s resignation is not the result of any dispute or disagreement with then company on any matter relating to VIAVI's operations, policies or practices.